The STANDARD H Travel pages are our version of city guides presented by our founder, Wesley Smith. These are places he's traveled, enjoyed, and recommends, so they're all vetted and what we refer to as STANDARD H verified. These lists will evolve, so check back often and travel safe!
"Though I have been to many places in Europe, most were done after college as I backpacked on my own for the better part of two months. It's been so long ago, I couldn't begin to tell you where I ate or where I stayed. Regardless, you're probably not here to discover a hostel anyway. In 2019, my wife and I enjoyed just over a week in Italy. Below are my favorite places in Florence and Positano, two of my favorite places in Italy." - Wesley
La Terrazza Continentale
Vicolo dell'Oro, 6, 50123 Firenze Fl, Italy
This was perhaps my favorite place to have a drink in Florence. It's been on a bunch of "Best Rooftop Bars in the World" lists and for good reason. It's small, so you may have to wait, however, it's an amazing atmosphere. Hopefully you're able to get lucky and score a table along its outer edge where you'll have views of the river. I highly recommend getting there an hour before sunset, grabbing an Aperol Spritz and taking that in. It's wonderful.
Harry's Bar Firenze
Lungarno Amerigo Vespucci, 8, 50123 Firenze Fl, Italy
Perhaps you've already heard of Harry's - it's somewhat of a Florence staple in many circles. Delicious food. Great location. Though I have never eaten a meal here, myself, this is my go-to spot after dinner/later in the evening. I've only sat at the bar, which is where I'd recommend sitting for that true Harry's experience. Complimentary chips and a small bowl of nuts alongside a Negroni - what more do you need?
Via Maggio, 46r, 50125 Firenze Fl, Italy
If you're looking for pizza in Florence, this was my favorite. It's perfect for a casual, no-fuss dinner after walking around the city all day. Snag a table inside and grab a Nastro Azzurro and you're set.
Via S. Gallo, 3r, 50129 Firenze Fl, Italy
A favorite for many Pitti Uomo attendees, SandwiChic is a tiny deli with incredible sandwiches. The meats are delicious, and they even have been on-hand. You need to add this to your lunch list when in Florence.
Arà: è Sicilia
Via degli Alfani, 127, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Two blocks away from SandwiChic is this place serving arancini, cannoli, pastries and gelato. We got the arancini and they're delicious.
Via Santo Spirito, 60/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
We were strolling around after our pizza dinner at Gustapizza and saw about 25 people drinking wine in the street. This hole-in-the-wall of a wine bar absolutely struck us as our type of place. They serve meat & cheese platters. The prices for the wine are incredibly reasonable and the whole atmosphere was wonderful. This is exactly the type of place I love to discover in European cities like Florence.
The Westin Excelsior
Piazza Ognissanti, 3, 50123 Firenze Fl, Italy
Another great rooftop to have happy hour and/or dinner. A tad on the touristy side, but we had incredible weather as it was September, and the sunset was gorgeous. It certainly presents amazing views of the river and the entire city. The only downside is it can be touristy depending on time of year, especially.
Via Cassia per Siena, 133, 50026 Bargino FI, Italy
Far from original, though this wine tour is amazing. It's more of an architecture tour than a schooling in wine making, though that also plays a role. Antinori is one of the oldest wine businesses in the world, and it's absolutely beautiful. The wine is very reliable and has a lot of different price points per bottle, so you're bound to find something you like. It's definitely worth a visit.
Strada Provinciale Castellina in Chianti, 3, 50028 Barberino Tavarnelle FI, Italy
Now, I'm not going to start giving shout-outs to all of the vineyards I enjoy because the list would be too long, but I wanted to give a quick recommendation for Casa Emma, as it's far more "mom & pop" than somewhere like Antinori (which you should visit for the architecture if nothing else). Casa Emma is a small producer that had me sold on their rosé, which was so great out on their back patio, overlooking their vines on a hot day. The service was great. We've placed two orders since our visit - often times they'll do free shipping promotions which is great given we're so far.
Ristoro L'Antica Scuderia
Via Passignano, 17, 50028 Tavarnelle Val di Pesa FI, Italy
If you're into wine, Tuscany is more than likely already on your radar. When you're out and about, this place is a must-stop for lunch to break up the day. The food is absolutely delicious and in a setting unlike any other. Be sure to sit out on the patio, enjoy the fresh air and take your sweet time.